Monday, November 5, 2018

[UPDATE] Whole Foods Market 365 to Open in Buckhead and Decatur December 12

Whole Foods Market 365 announced today the grand openings of their Decatur and Northside Buckhead stores on Wednesday, December 12 at 9 a.m. The 35,000 square foot Decatur store will anchor the new North Decatur Square shopping center at 1555 Church Street, with the 29,740 square foot Buckhead store anchoring the existing but reconfigured Paces Ferry Plaza shopping center at 3535 Northside Parkway.  
Whole Foods Market 365 Buckhead earlier this summer 

“For the first time in company history, Whole Foods Market is opening two stores in the same market on the same day, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce the Decatur and Northside Buckhead communities to the Whole Foods Market 365 concept, and our curated, high quality and reasonably priced product selection,” said Jeff Turnas, President of Whole Foods Market 365. 

ToNeTo Atlanta first reported plans for the Decatur store in May 2016 and for the Buckhead store in August 2016.  

As part of the "Friends of Whole Foods Market" program, both the Decatur and Buckhead stores will feature an onsite Mexican cuisine-focused restaurant, Loteria Grill, from Chef Jimmy Shaw. The in-store eateries will serve as the first locations for the Los Angeles-based restaurant in the Atlanta area. 

Also part of the Friends of Whole Foods Market program, the Decatur store will house the fourth location for homegrown Atlanta-based dtox juice, and Pour de Leon, a self-serve draft beer, wine and cider venue that also features light bites and a children’s play area. Sublime Tree will be opening their second location in the Buckhead store.     

In celebration of the grand openings, shoppers will be greeted with complimentary coffee and snacks and be the first to sample a handful of seasonal, limited edition products.    Additionally, the first 100 customers in line at either store on December 12 will receive a Whole Foods Market 365 gift card ranging in value from $5 to $365, and a free reusable tote bag.  

Last June, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for nearly $14 billion.  There was talk shortly after the acquisition that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was not a fan of the 365 concept and that the company would be scaling back expansion plans.  Thus far, that does not seem to be the case, although the company has already closed one 365 store not long after its debut.  

Whole Foods under Amazon control, though, has not been good for locals as it brought the closure of the final Harry's, "replaced" by the new Whole Foods Market in Kennesaw, led to the closure of AtlantaFresh Greek Yogurt, a longtime supplier of the grocer, and most recently, led to the abrupt closure of three in-store Revelator Coffee shops, two of which were in metro Atlanta.  

Although Amazon has supplied limited discounts for its Amazon Prime members at its flagship Whole Foods Market stores, there is no indication yet what, if any, discounts will be offered to Prime members  

Amazon has adopted a far more centralized buying and marketing direction for Whole Foods, leaving many smaller purveyors out in the cold.  

365 is the grocer's attempt to appeal to cost conscious consumers, many of them millennials, who have grown to be fans of Trader Joe's and Sprouts Farmers Market, among other competitors.  

Have you ever been to a Whole Foods Market 365?  Do you think things have gotten better or worse at Whole Foods under Amazon ownership?  Where do you do most of your grocery shopping?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

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